Patrick Arena

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Patrick Arena was the main sports arena located in the Greater Victoria, British Columbia area. The wood constructed arena was located in the suburb municipality of Oak Bay, on the north east corner of Cadboro Bay Road and Epworth Street (then called Empress Street). Built in 1911 at a cost of $110,000 with a capacity for 4,000 spectators, it officially opened with public skating on December 25, 1911. More than 600 skaters enjoyed the thrill of opening day. The owners, Frank and Lester Patrick, built the arena primarily to accommodate their hockey team in the newly formed Pacific Coast Hockey Association (PCHA).

Professional hockey[edit]

The first professional hockey game played at the Patrick Arena was between the New Westminster Royals and the hometown Victoria Senators on January 2, 1912. This was likely the first professional game on artificial ice in Canada.[1] In 1913 the Victoria Senators were renamed as the Victoria Aristocrats. In 1916 the Patrick Arena was commandeered by the Canadian military and the hockey team was forced to move to Spokane, Washington to play as the Spokane Canaries. When the military left, a new team was formed in 1918 and again was dubbed the Aristocrats. In 1923 they changed their name to the Victoria Cougars and when the PCHA disbanded in 1924 they moved to the Western Canada Hockey League (WCHL). The 1925 Stanley Cup Finals saw the Western Canada Hockey League champion Victoria Cougars defeat the National Hockey League (NHL) champion Montreal Canadiens 3 games to 1 in the best-of-five game series. Games one, three and four were played at the Patrick Arena. The next year the Western Canada Hockey League was renamed as the Western Hockey League (WHL) with the Victoria Cougars winning the league championship again. In Victoria's second Stanley Cup Final the Montreal Maroons were too strong, out scoring Victoria 10 to 3 and handily beating them three games to one at the newly built Montreal Forum. The Western Hockey League folded following the 1925–26 season and the new Detroit NHL franchise purchased the Victoria Cougars players and played as the Detroit Cougars until 1930. The next professional hockey team in Victoria was the Pacific Coast Hockey League's (PCHL) Victoria Cubs who began play in 1928. They were also scheduled to play in the 1929-1930 season but a fire destroyed the Patrick Arena on November 11, 1929 and the team played that season as a "road team." Their 18 scheduled home games were played on the road, divided between Vancouver and Seattle.[2] After the team moved to Tacoma, WA and became the Tacoma Tigers in 1930, Greater Victoria was without pro hockey until 1949, when a new version of the Victoria Cougars joined a new version of the PCHL in the new Victoria Memorial Arena located in downtown Victoria. The Cougars transferred to the Western Hockey League (WHL) in 1952 and left Victoria for Los Angeles in 1961. The 1963-64 WHL champion Denver Invaders became the Victoria Maple Leafs for the 1964-65 season. The Leafs, a farm team of the Toronto Maple Leafs, lasted three seasons at the Victoria Memorial Arena. They won the WHL title in 1967, the same year that their parent club won the Stanley Cup for the last time. The following season the team moved to Phoenix, Arizona and became the Phoenix Roadrunners. That brought an end to professional hockey in Greater Victoria until October 2004 when the Victoria Salmon Kings were established in the ECHL.

Fire[edit]

The arena was destroyed by a fire in the pre-dawn hours of November 11, 1929; it was believed to be deliberately set.

Now[edit]

In 2001 a cairn commemorating the 1925 Stanley Cup victory by the Victoria Cougars was erected on Cadboro Bay Road in front of Oak Bay High School, right across the street from the old site of the Patrick Arena.

References[edit]

  1. ^ The first professional game of ice hockey on artificial ice was likely in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, which had artificial ice at the Duquesne Gardens in 1896 and professional teams starting in 1901. See Western Pennsylvania Hockey League.
  2. ^ The Calgary Herald, November 14, 1929, page 7

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 48°25′57.83″N 123°19′09.48″W / 48.4327306°N 123.3193000°W / 48.4327306; -123.3193000